LIFE AS WE KNOW IT Review

Going into a film like 'Life As We Know It' you kind of know what to expect if you've seen even a bit of its trailer. This is clearly a romantic comedy, but one that doesn't rely on a traditional meet-cute and in doing so, sets up some very complicated and touching subject matter that no run of the mill romantic comedy would dare go near. Even if you find such material un-intriguing or that this still plays to some of this genre's conventions, you must admire it for going above the call of duty. In the opening moments it sets up that Heigl and Duhamel's characters are completely opposite and therefore are destined to fall in love by the end of the film. This is obvious and we know that is where this movie is heading the entire time we're watching no matter what struggles the script throws in their way. In saying that, there are some nice twists that detour the inevitable from happening to soon. The characteristics of these two leads are defined early, for the fiftieth time Heigl plays the uptight career woman who has to plan everything. It seems she would get tired of this persona after a while, but then again maybe this is all she can do. I have never been particularly attracted to Heigl or her acting, but this is probably the best she's done since 'Knocked Up' and I credit that to the writer for giving her character some development not just in her relationship with Duhamel but as an adult, she grows to love the child that her friends entrusted her with and becomes a better mother than even she believed she could be. As corny as that may sound, it's true and her scenes with the child in the latter half of the film are very touching. As for Duhamel, I was a bit worried after the dud that was 'When in Rome' that he was destined to always be the military guy in the 'Transformers' movies or worse, Mr. Fergie. This role bodes well for him though, he is not as cheesy as he was in the Kristen Bell rom-com and at moments he comes off completely genuine though he has been assigned the traits of a tool. The two have rather good chemistry with one another and this shines as they both learn how to raise a child as well as grow up themselves. The montages where this kind of progress happens are entertaining and some of the best bits of the film. Overall, I expected this to be more run of the mill, but it was greatly surprising to see a touching film about love in more ways than one. Director Berlanti gives the film a warm look and nice pacing that allows the film to unfold in the time frame of a year. We become invested in these characters and we grow to root for their relationship even though we know in a big Hollywood film the makers would never let us go home disappointed with the fact things didn't work out perfectly.